Barbecue season is well and truly upon us, and instead of regular old burgers, we like to make koftas using lamb mince, fresh herbs and spices. These are great if you’re cutting back on bread (like we are) as you don’t need to worry about putting them into a bun.
They’re easy to make, and you can prepare them in advance to cook over hot coals – or under the grill in the kitchen if the weather takes a turn for the worse!
You can serve these any way you like – we had them with some Greek yoghurt and roasted Mediterranean vegetables, but they would also go well inside a pitta bread with some hummus and salad, or with a rice or orzo salad.
I’ve shared my recipe for the roasted vegetables – not quantities are given because it’s the sort of recipe I just eyeball depending on what I have in the fridge!
These are cooked on a barbecue grill, or under a grill/broiler
750g lamb mince
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
small handful of fresh mint, chopped
small handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
½ tsp chilli powder (optional)
Place all the ingredients into a bowl (adding the chilli powder if you want a little bit of heat) and mix together with your hands until well combined.
Take a small handful of the mixture and form into a long, fat sausage shape, about 10cm (4"), and thread a skewer (if you use wooden ones, make sure you soak them in water for 30 mins first) through the middle, all the way to the ends to support the koftas. You might find you need to double the skewers to support the weight of them!
Depending on the size of your koftas, you should get around 12 from the mixture.
Cook on a barbecue for around 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until cooked through. Alternatively, cook under a hot grill.
Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
Adjust the amount of vegetables to suit the number of people you are feeding - I often cook vegetables this way and just throw in what I have in the fridge, so rarely have measurements!
red, yellow, green and orange bell peppers (all or a selection of)
garlic cloves, crushed
fresh or dried rosemary
Chop all of the vegetables into bite-size pieces and place in a large roasting pan.
Add the garlic, rosemary, cinnamon, cumin, salt, tomatoes and lemon juice and mix everything together.
Spread out in an even layer and drizzle over some olive oil.
Bake in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.